ASK THE EXPERT: Holiday Travel Safety Tips

Ask the Expert

GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – AAA predicts holiday travel will rebound to almost pre-pandemic levels this seasons with more than 109 million people heading out of town.

As part of our “Ask the Expert” series, in partnership with Bon Secours St. Francis, 7NEWS’ Taylor Murray spoke with Bon Secours St. Francis Emergency Medicine Physician Dr. Dat Ta about what precautions travelers can take.

With COVID-19 still a threat, and the new Omicron variant popping up across the country, health experts are urging travelers to practice health and safety during their trips.

“Masks are a must, right,” said Dr. Ta. “I would strongly recommend having obviously a few comfortable masks. Obviously, hand sanitizer [and] some type of hand wipes would also be very helpful. Especially if you end up eating on the road.”

Dr. Ta said road trips are the safest mode of travel as opposed to other forms such as flying.

“Driving especially with a group of people that you live with…likely will be the safest route.“

Airlines will see a 184 percent increase from last year, according to AAA. If you plan on flying to your holiday destination, it’s important to follow all airport and in-flight guidelines to help prevent the spread.

“When you get into your seat, if it’s not too inconvenient, go ahead and wipe it down, especially the tray area,” said Dr. Ta. “And the headrest….I’ve seen people wear gloves the entire flight. If that’s something you’re comfortable with, go for it…. I would recommend potentially getting a COVID test before you travel to see family.”

However you choose to get from point A to point B: by plane, train, bus, cruise, or automobile, Dr. Ta emphasized the importance of overpacking vital things such as medications.

“I usually recommend sort of timing out how long you go and usually pack twice that amount.”

Dr. Ta said those traveling internationally this holiday season should use the CDC website to know what’s required and recommended for entry to their destination. General regulations and COVID policies differ from country to country.

To submit a health topic for our Ask the Expert series, click here.

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